ScS has pulled out the race to buy fellow furniture specialist, seemingly paving the way for Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley to snap up the business.

The retailer said this morning that it was “no longer in discussions” over a potential acquisition of the etailer’s business or its assets.

ScS had emerged as one of two front-runners to buy, alongside Sports Direct.

Ashley’s interest is reported to stem from the fact operates concessions in several House of Fraser stores – the department store chain Ashley’s Sports Direct rescued from administration in a £90m swoop last year.

KPMG, which is dealing with the sale of, is expected to finalise a deal within days.

LGT European Capital, which took control of the online retailer last year, is looking to offload the business in a quick-fire sale.

In its accounts for the year to February 28 2018, slumped to an operating loss of £33.6m – more than double that of the prior year – on sales of £28.8m.